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 Post subject: Paradigms- efficiency- efficacy
PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 11:59 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2005 4:10 pm
Posts: 1354

Some ramblings today. There will hardly be any technical information in this, so if you´re in a hurry to be a bit better, but don´t care rather that much about what you want to be better at, feel free to drop out from this lesson :roll:

A red thread.

In the sort of teaching I do, there is a red thread- the bodies that are being trained should move in the most efficient, and most effective way possible. I do of course not find this way. I actually believe that it is hardly possible to find THE WAY to move. And I am in good company, Müseler for instance, doesn´t even depict "correct" in his book, and goes so far as to show an empty frame. "The uncertainty principle" in quantum physics states that it is impossible to precicely determine both speed and location of for instance a particle- i.e. the more precicely you measure speed, the less precicely you can measure location. I find this is a nice way of describing the difficulty of depicting "correct" riding, both in terms of words and in pictures.

Riding is a continuous process. It is not a series of 0´s and 1´s that will yield a given result every time. It has really advanced feedback- loops, so a good rider will at any given time be adjusting his output, and maybe even his input (!), in order to make his horse better.

Now, I have already shown above, that I am trapped within a given paradigm of riding. That doesn´t meah that I have not tried other paradigms rather extensively, but at present, I am caught up in trying to understand how to teach and perform within a given paradigm.


When I write about this stuff, and when I teach it, I am invariably confronted with whatever other teachings a student has been subject to. I used to think that much of this was wrong. That this or that way of tealling the horse to do something is wrong, or that it is wrong to rely on the intelligence of the horse rather than the feel, and so on. But I have come to understand that it is wrong within the paradigm I am working inside. And that paradigm is of course not "the truth". However, many ideas will be wrong outside any paradigm but the one that teacher is teaching within.

How do you know when you are working contradictory to your own paradigm, and how do you even know which paradigm you are within? These questions demand that we understand a fair bit about our own perceptions, our own bodies, and the body and soul of the horse. If you are missing out on one or more, you are also missing out on a lot of performance, wether that be competition- wise, or just in terms of long- term health of the horse or yourself.

So what´s the best paradigm?

How to explain this, then?

There is only ONE way to move that will be the most effective AND the most efficient way of moving at the same time. However, we will never find this one way... None of us. Ever. And what´s more; we will only have a loose grap of what is currently our greatest shortcomings, and it will be excrutiatingly difficult to describe them in terms that are understandable to others, seeing as the frame of reference is always different from person to person.

I have had the fortune to be allowed to ride some hundreds of horses over the years. I have also had the good fortune to be teaching their riders, I hope following the same principles. However, when I sample the feel of the horse, it only fits with what I have seen in a rudimentary way. This is hardly surprising, but what IS surprising is how it is always possible to make a horse conform more to what I want/expect in a short time. And espescially if the rider has done a lot of training.

One should think that it matters a lot what kind of training has been done, but I find that it is really only the intensity of the training that matters: If the intensity of training has been high, it is not difficult to change the way the horse moves to something that is, subjectively, better.

A good paradigm, then, includes training that keeps your horse healthy and yourself healthy. And then you need to be able to do whatever you want to do...

Wild horses are healthy. Most people are not very healthy, definitely less so than wild horses, and most often not able to keep up with domesticated ones, either.

So, whatever paradigm we choose, for choose we must, should reflect "that which we want to do". And keep in mind that this choice is likely to be heavily influenced by our comfort- genes... There´s nothing wrong with training your horse in a helathy way that makes it easy for you to do lots of stuff: scream through the forest at full tilt, or joust. Or just dawdle around with your horse. If that is what you want.

This is why I ask what my students what they want/dream of being able to do. Most people don´t even dare admit to themselves, but I think we all dream of something or other...

So the best paradigm, then, is to a great degree defined by yourself. I can help in a lot of ways, and the simplest are those which enable you and the horse to move better. This is what I am trying to do.

However, I do not believe that it is possible to distinguish between mind and matter, as it were. In theory, yes. But to do something physical without it influencing you, thereby influencing it? No way.



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